HSQ - Girl, Change Your Clothes.
Let me start by saying this is not an article or devotional about dress standards. Although studying the Scriptures and praying about how God would want you to be dressed on the outside is important, I believe it is more important to be dressed appropriately on the inside. Whether we like it or not, how we dress outwardly and inwardly reflects on who we are and Whose we are. The Bible says that we are daughters of the King and therefore princesses. There is an expectation of how a princess should dress. If you are unaware of this just read any of the hundreds of articles that report on Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle's wardrobes daily. I’m sure, though, if we went to “Princess” School we would be told that just as important as the outward adorning of modest attire for a king’s daughter is the importance of the inward adorning of a princess’ heart.
Psalm 45:13a, “The king's daughter is all glorious within…”
The Bible has much to say about how a daughter of the King or a woman of God should be dressed on the inside. Actually, there is too much to be covered in a single article, but we will focus on three things the Lord gives us to “wear” and two things that we are to “put on” ourselves.
1. Isaiah 61:10a, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord. My soul shall be joyful in my God. For he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation. . .”
When we realize our sinful state and the eternal consequences that go with it, and we decide to trust Jesus as our Savior, God gives us the garment of salvation. This is pictured in the Old Testament when Adam and Eve tried to make coverings for themselves. They realized they had sinned, knew they needed to cover up their sin, and so they sewed fig leaves together. Many people try to find ways to “cover up their sin.” They go to church, give money to the poor, show kindness to their neighbors, etc., but these acts do not cover up our sin in God’s eyes. God took the life of an animal and covered Adam and Eve’s nakedness with garments made from its skin. It was a picture of the time when one day Jesus would give His life and His blood to cover our sins. Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” God has a garment of salvation for you. Are you wearing it?
2. Isaiah 61:10b, “… he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness. . .”
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, God gives us not only a garment of salvation, but also a robe of righteousness. The word “righteousness” means perfect, just, or without sin or blame. It is a covering we can use for our daily life. That means that when I wear this robe of righteousness, God sees Jesus’ righteousness and not my sin. Before Him I stand perfect or just. Praise the Lord, because I am anything but perfect or just.
I like to think of it as a “super” suit. It is something that is there, but sometimes I forget about it. When I remember I am wearing a garment of righteousness, I can live a holy life unbounded by sin. I don’t have to let my old nature get the better of me. I can have victory over my besetting sin. I believe that once we put our trust in God and He gives us the garment of salvation, it can never be taken away from us nor can we ever take it off. No matter what, our eternal home in Heaven is secure. But we chose daily whether to remember that God has given us a robe of righteousness. When you look in the mirror what do you see? The devil wants you to see your past, your failings, your faults, but God sees Christ’s righteousness. Some days we get caught up in the cares of this world and we forget that we have the power through Christ to live right, but we have to be pro-active about it. Job 29:14a, “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me…” 1 Corinthians 15:34, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not…” God has given you a robe of righteousness. Are you using it?
3. Isaiah 61:3, “…to give unto them…the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…”
The third garment the Lord gives us to wear is the garment of praise. This garment is free for us to have, but God can’t…or should I say…chooses not to, make us wear it if we don’t want to. He gives us this garment of praise to replace our spirit of heaviness. There are many women today. . .Christian women. . .who refuse to wear their garment of praise. They’re discontent. They’re discouraged. They’re depressed. You ask them how they are doing and they sigh, or they tell you their latest problem, or they tell you about the tragedy they are sure is just around the corner. They have misplaced their garment of praise and are wearing a spirit of heaviness. God knows sometimes our hearts are heavy. He knows that we have trials and struggles that we go through, but He gives us the garment of praise to replace the spirit of heaviness.
When we get saved, God wants us to wear our new clothing not our old rags. You know when you have an article of clothing that becomes so old you just can’t wear it anymore? I have a pair of black knee socks that I just love to wear in the winter. I’ve sewn the holes closed so many times, but I finally had to throw them away when I realized the thread worn away was more than the thread that was left to sew together. Sometimes it is hard for us to discard old clothing because it is comfortable. The same is true for the spirit of heaviness. Some of us have worn the garment of heaviness so long that it is comfortable.
One time I was sitting in a service and the pastor preached a great sermon on being thankful for everything. Many people went to the altar to make decisions, but immediately after the service finished, a certain lady walked up to me and started complaining about a situation. She obviously wasn’t listening to the sermon. She is a complainer. She has been a complainer for as long as I have known her. Her complaining is comfortable to her. She is a Christian, and God has given her the garment of praise, but on that day, like many other days, she did not choose to wear it. This lady is a princess. She is a daughter of the King. She has an eternal home in Heaven, but today as she walks on this earth, she is wearing the spirit of heaviness and has forgotten that her Father has bought her a new dress and would like her to wear it.
Complaining is not the only attribute of a spirit of heaviness. Some other ones would be:
a lady that argues all the time
a lady that finds some fault, large or small, with every person they come in contact with
a lady that never has a kind word to say
a lady with a perpetual sad countenance
a lady that is self absorbed and can’t see the needs of others
God gives us the garment of praise, and He commands us to use it. Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” Do you choose to wear your garment of praise each morning or are you wearing your old rags? If you don’t know, ask yourself this question the next time you are tempted to say something negative or critical: “Am I wearing my garment of praise today?”
God gave us the garment of salvation for our past and our future,
and He gave us a robe of righteousness and a garment of praise for our present.
Now let’s talk about the things that the Bible says that we should “put on” ourselves. There are many. . .
Ephesians 4:24, “. . .put on the new man. . ."
Romans 13:12, “. . .put on the armour of light.”
Galatians 3:27, “. . .put on Christ.”
Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the whole armour of God…”
Colossians 3:12, “Put on …mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;”
. . .but we will focus on just two.
4. Proverbs 31:25, “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.”
Strength and Honor are so closely related that it is hard to separate them. Combined they would be closely related to the word “nobility.” You may not be from noble birth, but you were born into nobility when you were born again. Romans 8:16,17
STRENGTH – Proverbs 31:17 talks about the woman who strengthens her arms and girds her loins. This is talking about physical strength, but verse 25 is talking about an inward strength that shows on the outside.
She wears her strength visibly. It is an outward sign of an inward peace.
Much like the fact that physical strength cannot be bought in a pill, faked, or come by quickly, so it is true that inner strength cannot be bought, faked, or come by quickly. It is the result of the repetition of a particular action. It takes a steady regime of eating right and working out to build physical strength. It is much the same for inner strength.
HONOUR - This honor is not the kind that is sought out, but is the kind that comes to a lady as a result of her strength in the Lord. It is not expected, nor is it accepted in pride, but is a by-product of a life lived that is clothed in a garment of salvation, a robe of righteousness, and a garment of praise.
How do we get strength and honor?
Psalms 96:6b “Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.”
1 Chronicles 16:27b “Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.”
Strength and honor can be obtained by being in the presence of the Lord. You have to be near the Lord to experience this strength. If you never go to the gym, or exercise your muscles, they won’t grow strong. Likewise, if we spend our life away from the presence of the Lord, we will never have this kind of strength or honor.
The end of Proverbs 31:25 says “…and she shall rejoice in time to come.” When you have inner strength, you have a confidence in both the present and the future. It is the unworried peace of someone who trusts the Lord for their past, present, and future. A princess that is clothed in salvation, righteousness, praise, strength, and honor doesn’t worry about tomorrow. She actually rejoices in her future with Christ.
If we're going to be spiritually dressed like a princess, it's going to take time and effort and attention to detail. How much time do we spend each morning “dressing” ourselves for the day ahead? How much thought have we put into it? Do you just “jump out of bed,” “grab any old thing to wear,” and “say, ‘That’ll do’.”
What causes God to look at a woman and say, “I am pleased”? Do you think it is the way you wear your hair or the makeup you put on your face? Those are important things and not to be left undone. . .just look at how God adorned the earth with color and beauty. . .but these things alone will not cause God to utter those precious words. God is pleased when He finds a woman who is adorned on the outside and the inside in such a way that represents the wonderful position He has so graciously given them on the day He saved them.
Are you a well-dressed Christian woman? Do you act like the princess that you are?
Are you wearing the garments of salvation, righteousness, praise, strength, and honor?
If not, Girl, change your clothes.